Why Beyoncé And Lady Gaga Are The Focus Of A New Kensington Palace Display

Kensington Palace became a part of the royal real estate portfolio in 1689 when it was just known as Nottingham House. In recent years, it's been home to a number of royals, including Princess Diana; there's now a statue of Diana in the Sunken Garden on the grounds of Kensington Palace. Her sons have both lived at the palace as well. One of the gorgeous places that William, Prince of Wales, and Catherine, Princess of Wales have called home include Apartment 1A at Kensington, which used to be Princess Margaret's residence. And you might recognize Nottingham Cottage, on the grounds of Kensington Palace, from the Netflix docuseries "Harry & Meghan," since it's where Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex, and Meghan Markle, Duchess of Sussex first lived together.

But it's not just a royal residence; Kensington Palace is also open for visitors. You can learn more about Queen Victoria who was born and grew up in the palace as well as tour the elaborate State Apartments; the King's Apartments were the center of the Georgian era, which spanned 1714 to around 1830. Soon, visitors to Kensington Palace will be able to see the grandeur of Georgian-era nobility paired with distinctly modern opulence, and fashion lovers won't want to miss the event that features historical outfits as well as modern looks from present-day icons like Beyoncé and Lady Gaga. 

Red carpet looks will be featured alongside 18th century fashions

The "Crown to Couture" exhibit, running from April 5 to October 29, 2023, will be set within the State Apartments and it will feature dresses, outfits, accessories, and artifacts from the Georgian court alongside current red carpet looks. Visitors will be able to see how the royal fashion of the past has connections to some of today's most memorable looks in Kensington Palace's largest exhibit ever. 

"In the 18th century to see the best fashion in the world you come to court, in the 21st century to see the best fashion in the world you look to the red carpet," Claudia Acott Williams, a curator at Kensington Palace, told Town & Country

One of the 200 pieces on display will showcase Beyoncé's stunning pregnancy style, specifically the elaborate gold dress and headdress she wore while pregnant with twins at the 2017 Grammys. Other awards show dresses include the green dress and the mask that Lady Gaga wore to the 2020 MTV VMAs and Audrey Hepburn's 1954 Oscars dress.

Plenty of Met Gala looks will be on display

Met Gala fans take note. There will be plenty of outfits from the annual fashion event on show at Kensington Palace. Lizzo's 2022 Met Gala outfit, which she accessorized with a flute, will be there; the gold embroidery on the black coat was done by hand and took 22,000 hours, according to People. The dress would have fit in well at the Georgian court since detailed, elaborate embroidery was a trend back then. 

Other Met Gala dresses on display, as reported by Vogue, will be Billie Eilish's glamorous pale pink Oscar de la Renta gown from 2021, the impressive "Sun God" outfit that Billy Porter wore in 2019, and the rose gold and turquoise Versace gown worn by Blake Lively, one of the best-dressed stars at the 2022 Met Gala. Whether they show it styled the way it was when Lively arrived at the event, or display the transformed version of the dress she flaunted on the red carpet, fans will have to wait to see.

"The customs of the Georgian court might seem distant and anachronistic," Claudia Acott Williams explained to Town & Country. "But we hope that 'Crown to Couture' will provide a new and familiar lens through which to understand the palace's spaces and the court's traditions."